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Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
Goodbye to Bill Morse

It is with regret that we write of the death of Bill Morse, a long-time member of the Institute and one of the always-calm coordinators of the Conference Office. Mr. Morse, of Cal Poly-Pomona, died Sunday, July 18. We send our condolences to his family.

A more complete In Memoriam piece will appear in the September issue of Sightlines. A memorial will be held 4 p.m. September 19 at Cal Poly-Pomona.

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Congratulations to Justin Miller

Justin A. Miller, a recent MFA graduate of Michigan State University and a USITT member since 2004, tells us he has accepted and will soon begin his first teaching position as an instructional assistant professor of theatre as well as the technical director at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. He tells us “This new job offers everything I could want in a position: friendly colleagues, an ambitions season of productions, and a group of students that is not so large I can not learn their names.

“I attribute a great deal of my knowledge and professional confidence to my membership in the Institute, and one of my many goals for this year is to create an active and exciting student chapter.”

Justin says, “See you in Charlotte,” and we look forward to seeing him there.

Mr. Miller was our first response from Executive Director David Grindle’s call for stories about USITT. We encourage others to share their experiences at

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Stroemel To Coach U.S. Women’s Hockey

Mo Stroemel, best known as a guiding force behind USITT’s special events presentations for several years, is gaining fame for his work as a hockey coach. Mr. Storemel has been named head coach of the 2011 United States University Women’s Select Team, which will compete at the Winter World University Games January 27 to February 6 in Erzurum, Turkey. This will be the inaugural appearance for the United States Women’s Team, comprised of players from collegiate ice hockey teams affiliated with the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA).

Mr. Stroemel is beginning his fourth year as head coach of the Penn State University Lady Icers. He has been with university’s ice hockey program since 1994, serving in a variety of roles: women’s head coach (2007-present); Men’s Division 1 assistant coach (2004-2007); Men’s Division 2 head coach (1997-2004); and Men’s Division 2 assistant coach (1994-1997).

He is a member of the Penn State University faculty teaching classes in technical theatre. He lives in State College, Pennsylvania with his wife, Joan, and his children, Sarah and Tom.

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Things Are Different in Texas

USITT members are problem-solvers, and the scope of that talent is not limited to productions. A recent conversation between President Joe Aldridge, carrying out a summer project in Texas, and the USITT office was interrupted when Joe had to leave his truck and remove a turtle which was attempting to cross a roadway. Once the turtle was safely off the road, and out of harm’s way, the conversation resumed.

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Charlotte Earns New Honor

Charlotte, North Carolina, where USITT will hold its 2011 Annual Conference & Stage Expo, has recently been named "America's Manliest City."

The title was awarded by the makers of COMBOS, the “official cheese-filled snack of NASCAR” since 2002. It was in second place in 2009, and toppled last year’s champ city, Nashville, Tennessee, which fell to fourth place.

According to a report on WBTV, the ranking process changed a little this year, using manly criteria like the number of home improvement stores, steak houses, pickup trucks, and motorcycles per capita. Last year's rankings were based on criteria such as number of professional sports teams, popularity of power tools, and frequency of monster truck rallies.

For a full report on the manliness index, click on the WBTV report.

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Member Featured for Running

Robert Theis of J.R. Clancy, Inc. was featured in coverage of the Chase Corporate Challenge, a 3.5 mile road race held in Syracuse, New York. An avid runner, he encouraged Clancy employees to be among the 6,791 participants representing 259 companies that entered the event.

In spite of delays caused by potential lightning strikes, a special effect that Mr. Theis had not scripted, all those who ran the event reported having a great time. Read the whole story.

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